The Dark Ages
Welcome to the Dark Ages campaign, oh valiant adventurer! Whether you seek fame, fortune, both, or perhaps you wish to help turn back the Doom that has befallen Man, it is my hope that you will find that and perhaps some good entertainment in the game you are about to play.
My Game in a Nutshell:
1. The World has suffered an apocalypse. Most everyone is just trying to survive. You’re the exception to the rule.
2. The known realm is boring. There’s nothing in “civilization” of interest. Uncivilized territory is where you’ll find adventure and loot.
3. Don’t assume anything about monsters or races or anything D&D’ish – you might be wrong.
4. OSRIC/1st edition (core) AD&D are the default rules set.
5. There are houserules, especially for combat – we’re using Philotomy’s combat rules. It’s a phased approach, versus segments.
6. The rules won’t save you. I’m rules-light. If you’re not sure, just describe it and try it. Worst case is that you have to roll dice.
7. You-Pick-A-Path-to-Adventure. There’s no railroad, no metaplot. You decide where you want to go. Not sure? Ask and look for hooks, they’re there.
8. The schedule is up to you. I can DM four times a month, maybe more if you play at my house. You figure out when/where/what you want to do and let me know. Decide quickly, the war-horns grow louder.
Time / Dates / Where we’ll play
The thought for this campaign is roughly akin to what Ben Robbins of ars ludi blog wrote in his series of posts called “West Marches Campaign”. (http://arsludi.lamemage.com/index.php/78/grand-experiments-west-marches/) Simply put, you – the players – are in control of where you go and when you play.
You will decide if you’re going to go to investigate the monsters of Dalewoods, the lost towns of Valenia, back to the depths of a dungeon you’ve cleared out prior, or investigate rumors of the Damned in Irecia. That’s how sandbox play works.
The players will set the schedule. I’m available probably for 4 times a month, maybe more depending on where we go. If we end up playing at my house, I probably could be available more often. All I ask is that you check with me before you set the dates, as I do have other commitments that will require me to do things on weekends.
For right now, we’ll be playing at Games Plus in Mt. Prospect (Sundays) and Games Plus or Black Sun Games during the week. I leave open the possibility of playing at my house (northern suburb of Chicago – Mundelein, IL) or somewhere convenient to the majority of the group.
About the game mechanics
The rules we’ll be using are OSRIC/1E. If there’s a conflict between the two, I’ll usually opt for what’s best for the players, though mostly we default to OSRIC. Other 1E supplements/variants/add-ons and wishlists are out of play but I’m willing to consider them if they add to the flavor.
I’ve got a houserules document publicly available online (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dcmsh84t_55fj8k2z4f ), and I will have at least one copy with me in the campaign binder that you can look at. As with all houserules, they are subject to change with playing and discussion.
One big change from OSRIC is the sequence/order of combat. I’m using a version of Philotomy’s Combat Sequence. (http://www.philotomy.com/combat_sequence.html)
There is also the open possibility that some of you may wish to DM in the Dark Ages world. I encourage that!
Things are changed in the Dark Ages! Kobolds may have wings or breathe fire. Trolls may be thin and rubbery. Elves and dwarves may be different than you imagine. You might know the MM inside and out, but you’re likely to see/meet new things here. I hope you find it entertaining!
My philosophy to gaming
My preference for rules-lite games and that’s generally how I approach running games.I want you to have an enjoyable experience as players and I hope that you find my games challenging and fun. I’m always open to listening to suggestions, comments and feedback – if time allows after each game, I like to give comments and listen to comments back.
All of my rolls will always be in front of you, for better or worse. If I’m randomly rolling dice, that could be a nervous twitch, or a wandering monster check.
When in doubt, I’ll rule what is best for the campaign/game based on what I know at the moment, but I do research game rules afterwards to get the best ruling for going forward. I’m not a screw-em DM, I’m fair to players AND monsters/NPCs.